historical house, palace, concert/performance space
Inigo Jones, 1619
Whitehall, SW1A 2ER
Stunning regal building, the only surviving building from Whitehall Palace, one of the first examples of the principles of Palladianism being applied to an English building. Site of a set of magnificent ceiling paintings by Rubens.
Westminster, Embankment, Charing Cross
453, 159, 12
Managed by Historic Royal Palaces, this remarkable structure marks the beginning of a revolution in British architecture. It is one of the first examples of the principles of Palladianism being applied to an English building. It is the last surviving building from Whitehall Palace which burnt to the ground in 1698.
It was designed by Inigo Jones for James I, and work finished in 1622. Inigo Jones had travelled to Italy, had seen the buildings of the ancient world, and decided to recreate something of their effect in rainy London. This was supposed to look like a piece of ancient Rome transposed to Whitehall, and the effect was extraordinary.
The building was intended for Court masques, State receptions and entertainments. But when Charles I commissioned Sir Peter Paul Rubens to paint nine ceiling paintings to commemorate his father, James I, concerns about smoke damage from candles during evening occasions meant the parties were held elsewhere from 1637.
Envisioned for the splendour and exuberance of court masques, the Banqueting House is probably most famous for one real life drama: the execution of Charles I. This took place here in 1649 to the ‘dismal, universal groan’ of the crowd. Paradoxically, one of Charles’s last sights as he walked through the Banqueting House to his death was the magnificent ceiling celebrating his father’s rise into Heaven.
The exterior of the Banqueting House was repaired and conserved in 2015/6. Craft skills of masons, lead-workers and others were used in repairing, cleaning and redecorating the complex structure.
Historic Royal Palaces’ conservation ethos is to ensure repairs protect the patina of age and respect contributions from the past. Where possible we use reversible techniques and cause the minimum amount of disturbance to the historic fabric. This is a Grade 1 Listed Building.
You can find out more about the history of the Banqueting House in our guidebook which is available onsite and online.
The Banqueting House is not currently open to the public.
One of London's finest examples of Georgian architecture, Carlton House Terrace was designed by John Nash and built between 1827 and 1833. It is home to the British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences.
John Nash, 1827
historical house, museum
Grade I listed Georgian house, the only surviving home of Benjamin Franklin, retaining many original features including central staircase, lathing, 18th Century panelling, stoves, windows, fittings and beams.
Baron William Craven the Younger, 1732
institution/profession, library, museum
HQ of professional and examining body for UK optometrists occupying two terraced houses, No. 41 (Flitcroft c1730 with later additions) and No. 42 (rebuilt by Tarmac plc, c1989) including Council chamber, print room, library and museum.
Henry Flitcroft, 1730
institution/profession, scientific, education, library, online
A spectacular Grade I listed building designed by famed architect John Nash. Built in 1831, these former townhouses have undergone refurbishments throughout their history. The building is now home to the UK's national science academy.
John Nash, Decimus Burton, 1831
Built for the United Universities Club, 1-4 Suffolk Street is now home to the University of Notre Dame and its G.K Chesterton Collection. Visitors will be able to enjoy both this Edwardian listed building and the unique collection within.
Reginald Blomfield, 1906
religious, concert/performance space, restaurant/bar
One of Britain's finest churches, built in the Italian Baroque tradition and beautifully restored in 2008. Sustainable features include new heating and management systems and lightwell. RIBA Award Winner 2009. Civic Trust Award Winner 2010.
James Gibbs, 1726
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